Volunteering at Mary's Place with Runway to Freedom

Girl's Day at Mary's Place

This was my first experience volunteering at a shelter (for humans) and it certainly won’t be my last.  I was invited to participate in this girl’s day at Mary's Place through organizers and volunteers at Runway to Freedom.  We bonded with the girls and women at the shelter through doing their make up and nails, decorating cookies, and getting in the holiday spirit. 

Empowering homeless women, children, and families to reclaim their lives by providing shelter, nourishment, resources, healing and hope in a safe community
— Mary's Place

Connect within your community

My favorite part of the day was speaking with different women and children about their stories.  This is why I love being a counselor and volunteering because I get to connect with people from totally different walks of life.  Volunteering to help people who are in need is so rewarding because we feel a sense of connection with those we are helping, which enhances our human experience with one another.  

I connected with the younger girls on the simplest of levels: social media.  We talked about texting, Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram.  We bonded over make up, expressing ourselves through clothing, and a bit of shared sassiness.  

I felt incredibly uncool talking with one girl, 16yrs old, who speaks Chinese and is learning Mandarin, plays multiple sports, is the eldest of six siblings, and is on her path to applying for scholarships for college.  I felt humbled painting the nails of a woman who traveled here from Trinidad with her special needs son.  These are just two of the women I had the opportunity to talk to.

Connecting with the women and children at this event was grounding.  I left the shelter thinking about the next time I can go back.  There are so many ways you can help, whether it is through donating money, clothing, food, resources, or your time.  Every person matters, regardless of socioeconomic status, sexual or gender identity, education, mental health, race, etc.

Your help does make a difference.  

Every act of kindness & moment of connection does have an impact.

Question for thought:

  • How was an organization or person been there for you when you needed help?